Gifted Children’s Representations of Learner Identities

Marion Porath, Judy Lupart

Abstract


Elementary and secondary students identified as gifted produced representations of themselves as readers, writers, and mathematicians and were interviewed about what they chose to represent. Interviews indicated a developmental progression in the way academic learning is understood, a progression that also was evident in their representations. Action-based understanding of academic learning in early childhood progresses to increasingly complex integration of mental activity and knowledge of self-as-learner with descriptions of learning activities in middle childhood. Adolescence is marked by views of learning as transformative and emergent recognition of the nature of knowledge as important in learning. The representations showed similar developmental characteristics, but also offered complementary, creative views of the students’ learning identities.

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